Luke Perry’s death has sparked reactions of shock and sadness, many of which stem from the fans’ emotional attachment to the hit show, Beverly Hills 90210, that he was most famously known for.
These days, with advancing technology and the rise of the Internet, we are fortunate to have access to a wealth of information and entertainment. We have the latest TV shows, movies, and music videos available to us with a click of a button on our phones, laptops, and television sets. The current generation might not understand the patience and excitement we had in our days as we waited to watch new releases. The 90s kids had it different as real effort had to be made to watch our favorite shows and movies. Moreover, the UAE, was far from the international powerhouse it is today, and back then, we only had one English channel – Channel 33 – to serve all our English entertainment needs. There was only a select handful of shows that we had access to, and perhaps, one of the most iconic ones at the time was Beverly Hills 90210. I can still clearly remember the feeling of anticipation as I would beg my parents to get us back home from our Friday outings to make sure I do not miss an episode, as the show was only aired once a week, on Fridays at around 8 pm. Missing an episode was not an option as there was no other way to ever get a hold of it, unlike these days where everything is available online.
Most of the 90s kids in the UAE, perhaps specifically those in English speaking schools, will remember Beverly Hills 90210 and the impact it had on us. The show presented a whole new world of possibilities to us and offered a glimpse to what life could look like. Beverly Hills 90210 felt special and was unlike anything we’d ever watched before as it opened our eyes to topics that were either unknown or not spoken of openly. Many of the topics were, and to some extent, are still considered taboo in this part of the world, as the show looked at mental health issues, including eating disorders, addictions, as well as peer pressure, relationships, and many other topics.
As the show was a teen drama, it shed light on so many issues the youth were able to relate to. And in our society, where many of these topics were not addressed as openly and with no Internet to search for them, Beverly Hills 90210 became an outlet for finding answers and seeking enlightenment. Whether it was a good or a bad thing, the show has shaped and influenced the identities of many of the 90s kids into the people they are today.
So, when the news came of the sudden passing of Luke Perry, who played the part of Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills 90210, it affected many of us. His death felt different from some of the other celebrity deaths we have come across because he played a major role in the lives of our generation. Luke Perry, as Dylan, portrayed the rebel who had a soft spot, and the one who was yearning to be understood and loved. He had girls swooning over him both on and off the screen, giving them hope that even ‘bad guys’ can change for the one they love. Dylan did not only leave a mark on the girls, but also on the boys who idolized his persona and hoped to emulate his style in being the cool, carefree dude who answered to no one but was still good and kind at heart. Luke Perry is synonymous to Dylan McKay and his death comes as a rude awakening to some of our childhood hopes and memories that were created around him and Beverly Hills 90210.
While the youth today have access to a wide array of genres and characters to look up to, Beverly Hills 90210 was one of the very few shows we had back in our days. And Luke Perry’s death has left a gaping hole in our memories and has taken away a piece of our youth with him.
Our thoughts are with Luke Perry’s close friends and family, may he rest in peace.
Bahar is an HR professional by day and an aspiring writer by night. Ever since she was a little girl, she has found solace in reading and has a profound love for the written word. She hopes to pass on her massive collection of books to her twins so that they can also find joy in the magical world of books.
Bahar also has an unending thirst for knowledge as she completed her BComm in Canada, an MA in Dubai, and continues to develop herself through her love for reading and research.
In her articles, Bahar navigates through topics such as culture, parenthood, social development, and much more as she learns more about this crazy beautiful world we live in.